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Def. any nonmetallic solid that remains hard when heated is called a ceramic.
The term ceramics refers to clay that has been fired to a temperature causing irreversible changes to the clay body that generally make the material more durable and less porous. Ceramics is thought to be one of the first technologies in human development, and persists to this day.
Ceramic materials have been in use as utilitarian objects from the start, and that legacy continues. The inherent insulating properties in ceramic material have led to its use in everything from the space shuttles to cell phones.
The typical life cycle of a ceramic object consists of shaping clay into a form (called the greenware stage), allowing it to dry (called the bone dry stage), and firing it up to a temperature appropriate to the clay body being used (it is then called bisqueware). A second firing may take place after bisque firing to fix a glaze onto the piece, although there are some techniques that do not require this firing or combine both the bisque and glaze firings into a single firing.
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Ceramics is part of the Division of Craft Arts in the Division of Fine Arts